Five years after it entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore cycling opportunities in the National Park System, the International Mountain Bicycling Association has renewed the agreement with the National Park Service.
According to a news release from IMBA, the extension will run until 2015 and focus on efforts to build on existing projects and seek "new opportunities to enhance mountain biking in some of America's treasured national parks."
“Bicycling helps draw new visitors, especially younger people, and gives them fun, memorable experiences in the national parks,” said Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “IMBA has shown through hard work and cooperative attitudes that they share our passion for protecting and enjoying our nation’s parks, and that they share our desire to cultivate that passion in a new generation.”
At IMBA, Executive Director Mike Van Abel said the initial five-year agreement "exceeded or expectations."
“At first there was some uncertainty about mountain biking in national parks, but each success we have created through this partnership has improved the next," said Mr. Van Abel. "Today, IMBA staff meet regularly with NPS officials in Washington and at park units around the nation to consider opportunities for the next round of shared-use trails.”
According to IMBA, among the achievements the relationship with the Park Service has led to are:
* Fighting obesity among the nation's youth. "The IMBA/NPS partnership is helping counteract this disturbing trend by restoring children’s exposure to the natural environment. For the sixth edition of IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, a partnership between IMBA, Trips for Kids, and the National Park Service created 20 opportunities throughout the country for kids to experience nature on a bike and learn about their local parks."
* The Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew has visited dozens of parks to work on trail-building projects. Parks they have visited include:
• Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
• Big Bend National Park
• Cuyahoga Valley National Park
• Fort Dupont Park
• Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
• Saguaro National Park
• Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
• Homestead National Monument of America
• Mammoth Cave National Park
• Hawaii’i Volcanoes National Park
• Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
• Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
• Golden Gate National Recreation Area
• Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
• Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
• Glen Canyon National Recreation Are
• New River Gorge National River
• Point Reyes National Seashore
• Petroglyph National Monument